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CHAIRMAN’s WINTER BULLETIN 2021 In my November Autumn Bulletin I looked forward to a possible return to Barnwell Village Hall lectures sometime in 2021. The New Year surge in the pandemic has not brought this forward, sadly. However, now that many of us have had our first, some even our second vaccinations, and with the reasonable prospect of all adults being vaccinated before the end of the year, we can look forward to starting BVH lectures sometime in the 2021/22 season. The programme we are now planning from September will be with lecturers who can deliver either by Zoom or in person - not all accredited lectures do, but more and more are, including ones trained by us! I know from the feedback you have given us that members have been delighted with the excellent live Zoom lectures on Fridays, the Study Day series on Byzantine art in November by Helen Rufus-Ward, and the current series on Islamic calligraphy and figurative art by James Allan. These Zoom Study Days have obviously been a new venture for us and we are particularly pleased with how well you have supported and received them. Our thanks to Charles Cornford for organising these and to Gunta Krummins and Erica Kendall for the Friday lecture programme which has had to be revised from the original version. A special thank you to Stefan Pijanowski for his terrific work not only in hosting the Zoom programme, but also training us all, lecturers included, in how to use Zoom to everyone’s benefit. Charles will be organising another Study Day series of lectures for November, topic to be announced, but sadly will not be continuing in his Events role after September. In thanking him for all his work on the Committee, I would ask for members to consider joining us on the Committee to help plan next year’s programme. Do contact any of us if you feel you can commit to undertaking this interesting and worthwhile role. Despite lockdown, and to some extent because of it, we are continuing to support local arts organisations. Our sound financial position has allowed us to sponsor an event, to be decided, in the planned Oundle International Festival in July. We continue to support the Oundle Music and Drama Festival by sponsoring the Young Musicians Award, which it is hoped can take place later in the year than its usual Spring festival, probably after the Oundle Festival is over. Our support for the Arts and Crafts club at Oundle library continues, and we have agreed to provide seed funding of £250 to Pink House Arts which runs a craft club for older disadvantaged adults. This will be used to provide space outside where members can meet and socialise in the summer months. In addition to this, and in response to an Arts Society initiative, we are considering getting involved in a scheme to develop long term plans to offer Continuous Professional Development in Art and Design to secondary school teachers. The Committee is proposing to adjust the annual subscription next season to a reduced rate of £35 from the reduced rate of £30 for 2020/21. We feel this continues to reflect the fact that members have not had, and will not have for a while, the full benefit of membership which the normal £40 subscription provided. It will still allow us, however, to continue our support for Arts in the Community, our full Friday lecture programme (lecturer fees are pretty much the same, by Zoom or in person) as well as our Study Day Zoom series of up to six lectures at no extra charge. The situation will be reviewed during the new season in the light of what restrictions continue to apply, but we hope you can support our decision. Our Volunteer sections, Church Recording and Trails of Discovery, are still on hold during the pandemic. Church Recording is no longer part of Arts Society Volunteering, but has been preserved in an independent body, The Church Recording Society. We have not joined the new body but will complete the current record, eventually(!) of St Peter’s, Aldwincle. The records will no longer become part of the National Archive (there was little evidence they were being used), but can of course still be held by the Church and the Diocese. The Trail at Apethorpe has been completed thanks to Chris Cooke’s work in taking it on. It too will be collated for final completion when conditions allow. I will conclude by wishing you all a Happy Easter, better weather, fewer restrictions on our lives, and of course continued enjoyment of our lectures. Don’t forget the national Arts Society have a range of online lectures available to members which you can acess by visiting their website https://www.connected.theartssociety.org/talks-lectures. Best wishes Nigel Harper, Chairman, February 2021
The Arts Society Oundle